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World News - August 2018

Cannabis Oil Crosses Border Legally, One Time.

GREAT BRITAIN- Following many months of tireless efforts, Warwickshire county resident Hannah Deacon managed to obtain a license from the Home Office back in June to allow her to obtain and treat her son, Alfie Dingley, with cannabis oil. Young Alfie suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy and experiences regular daily seizures without the oil.

But Deacon was able to pass through customs at London City Airport Tuesday evening after returning from a trip to Amsterdam where she had obtained medicinal cannabis oil for her son.

“Today, for the first time ever in this country, we have brought back THC oil through the airport legally,” said Deacon after coming through customs. “Which is amazing. It is very, very important for him to have a normal, happy life, so it’s a momentous occasion for us, his whole family, and for him, most importantly.”

Deacon had secured and brought back a supply of thirty milliliters of oil from the Netherlands, enough to last Alfie for up to five months.

Alfie’s General Practitioner, who approves the medication for prescription, is also charged with storing and dispensing the oil to Alfie. When the supply of medicine is exhausted, Deacon will likely have to repeat the entire approval process unless cannabis oil is rescheduled in the meantime.


Caribbean to Consider Cannabis Confirmation

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS- The heads of Caribbean nations have agreed to “review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification,” noting “human and religious rights” issues stemming from criminalization as well as “the economic benefits to be derived” from legalization.

The move, which was announced by The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an organization of nations including Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica and others, comes after a committee formed by the group recommended replacing cannabis criminalization with legal regulation.

“The medical and scientific evidence is clear that marijuana has substantial value,” commission Chair Rose-Marie Belle Antoine said. “Thousands of people are being imprisoned especially the most vulnerable and most marginalized in the region.”

The 19 Caribbean heads of state attending the group’s meeting in Jamaica this week “welcomed” the report, according to the official communiqué released at the conclusion of the gathering on Saturday, which also notes that “the current classification of marijuana as an illicit drug presented a challenge in the conduct of research to fully understand and ascertain the medicinal benefits to be derived.”

“They are recommending the decriminalization of marijuana. […] that it be deemed a substance that is controlled and managed as alcohol,” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said of the commission’s report.

The communiqué issued by the heads of state reads:

“Heads of Government welcomed the Report of the Regional Commission on Marijuana. They noted its findings, conclusions and recommendations in particular with respect to human and religious rights; the social and developmental impact of use among adolescents; the economic benefits to be derived and issues related to its classification.

 “They agreed that action should be taken at the national level by the relevant authorities to review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification taking into account all international obligations. […] Member States would need to review the Report in more detail to determine action at each national level in relation to law reform models as proposed by the Commission.

 “We also agreed that each member state, in accordance with its own circumstances, would determine its own pathway to pursue the law reforms necessary as proposed by the Regional Marijuana Commission,” Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said at a press conference.

The move by Caribbean nations comes just weeks after Canadian lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana. Mexico’s incoming presidential administration is poised to end cannabis prohibition as well.


‘Chill Waves’ No Longer Crash South Australia 

AUSTRALIA- South Australia’s standing as a “cool state” has come under threat this week, with a push to change the way weed possession is prosecuted. Marijuana has been decriminalized in the state since 1987. Previously, getting busted with less than 25 grams would only see you hit with a maximum fine of $500; but it was more common to receive one for $125.

But this all looks set to change with the state government introducing laws to parliament to quadruple penalties for possession, pushing the maximum fine to $2000. Furthermore, they’re also out to create a new maximum prison sentence of two years, the same as ecstasy and heroin. Other plans also include introducing random drug checks and sniffer dogs in schools.

The changes are part of an ongoing push to increase penalties around possession that have been unfolding since last year. These increases were stoked by Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel’s inquest into the 2012 murder of teenager Lewis McPherson.

McPherson was killed by fellow teen, Liam Humbles, who was drunk and high at the time of the crime. The coroner is reported to have said: “The maximum monetary penalty for the offences of possession, smoking and consumption of cannabis, cannabis resin and cannabis oil [should] be increased from $500 to a figure that reflects the deleterious effects that the consumption of those substances can have on the individual, especially the young”.

Opponents of the changes have spoken out, arguing that the change in the law would overload the legal system with small cases. They also stood by the current system, which favors counseling and diversion programs over jail time.

South Australian Member of Legislative Council (Greens Party) Tammy Franks also mentioned that laws like this target vulnerable groups who are less likely to pay to defend themselves in court. She called it a “war on the homeless, Aboriginal people and the poor”.


Cannabis Company Gets $10M from Snoop Dog

GREAT BRITIAN- Snoop’s venture capital company Casa Verde Capital is among several to put $10 million into British cannabis venture Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies. (OCT) The firm also announced Blunt Talk/Star Trek/ X-Men star (and medical cannabis fan) Sir Patrick Stewart has become a patron.

“I am proud to become a patron of OCT. It’s wonderful that OCT have got together the funding that means that Britain will lead the way in what is, in my view, one of the world’s most exciting fields of medical research.” stated Patrick Steward. “The possibilities seem to me, to be virtually limitless.” Stewart (who says he uses cannabis medicine to help with his arthritis) will serve on OCT’s Advisory Board, with further appointments set to be announced.

OCT, established in 2017 to harness the prospective medical benefits of cannabinoids, also announced it has recently successfully completed a new round of funding. Research has now started across several new areas including treatments for cancer, pain management, a number of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and MS and a range of inflammatory diseases.

“Snoop is a fan of cannabis, it’s fair to say” Neil Mahapatra, Chairman of OCT, “At a time when medical cannabis markets are opening across the world, it is still surprising how little focus appears to be dedicated to understanding the underlying molecular actions of cannabinoids.

We want to help fill this knowledge gap, ultimately developing medical products that could help a large number of people.”

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